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Fashion

An Emerging Chinese Designer Is Behind These Conceptual Jack Purcells

Rising Chinese designer Feng Chen Wang takes the 85-year-old Jack Purcell design to futuristic territory.

Feng Chen Wang might not be a household name yet– unlike another famous Wang in fashion – but the independent Chinese-born, London-based menswear designer is fast staking her spot in the establishment.

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Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2015, the Fujian native has been nominated for some of the most prestigious awards in the business: the LVMH Prize in 2016 and the International Woolmark Prize this year. If these nods are not a recognition of her immense talent, we don’t know what is.

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Feng Chen Wang plays up her penchant for creating unisex designs with her Jack Purcell sneakers.

Wang’s detail-oriented work straddles the realm of conceptual fashion and minimalist design, to create gender-fluid looks that often play with volume, details and textures. That style M.O. is coupled with her passion for seamless incorporating cultural references from her homeland.

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Take for instance her Fall/Winter 2020 collection, which is inspired by the sunrise over the Wuyi mountains in northern China, or her Spring/Summer 2020 collection which featured a traditional dyeing technique called lanyinhuabu which she discovered while on a visit back home for the Qingming Festival.

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Feng Chen Wang turns the Chinese characters of her name as layers of leather pieces on the shoe uppers.

Her latest collaboration for Converse‘s Jack Purcell sneakers – a design from 1935 – sees her ticking all the boxes for her design signatures. First debuted during her men’s Fall/Winter 2020 runway show in January this year, the mid-cut Jack Purcell sneakers are crafted in a combination of suede and leather pieces arranged in a latticework construction to mimic traditional woven Chinese baskets. To put her personal stamp on the shoes, Wang enlarged the Chinese characters of her name on leather pieces which are then layered onto the shoe upper.

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The shoes ($199) come in two colourways of black and off-white and will launch on August 6 at Club21 Forum, Dover Street Market Singapore, and sneaker specialist Limited Edt. They will subsequently drop at the Converse Takashimaya S.C. boutique on August 11. If you ask us, they’re worth making a shopping run during this long weekend.


Converse debuted the Jack Purcell as a badminton sneaker in 1935 and, today, it is widely recognised for a signature ‘smile’ on its toe cap.
Feng Chen Wang’s Jack Purcell design focuses on the mid-cut silhouette and features a latticework construction of leather and suede pieces to mimic traditional woven Chinese baskets.
The leather pieces on the uppers feature abstract interpretations of the Chinese characters of Wang’s name.